WTA

Madison Keys beats Daria Kasatkina in final to claim second Eastbourne title

By Sports Desk July 01, 2023

American Madison Keys defeated Russian Daria Kasatkina after a lengthy second-set tie-break to claim the Rothesay International title at Eastbourne.

Keys completed a 6-2 7-6 (13) victory in one hour and 42 minutes to secure the grass-court title for the second time, having also been champion in 2014.

The world number 25 had looked in command after coasting through the opening set and had then moved 4-1 ahead in the second following another early break.

However, ninth seed Kasatkina, the world number 11, rallied to break back, winning three straight games to level and then had the chance to force a third set at 6-5 up, but could not hold.

As the second set went into a tie-break, it was Keys who took the initiative, moving first 3-0 ahead and then 5-2, but, with the wind increasing, failed to convert three match point chances.

Kasatkina then had four set points of her own before Keys eventually got over the line, taking four of the last five points to secure a seventh WTA title.

The tie-break was the second-longest on the WTA Tour this year, after Petra Kvitova and Elena Rybakina played out over 30 points in the final of the Miami Open.

“I love coming and playing in Eastbourne. Being able to win the title here twice now makes me have very fond memories,” Keys said on the WTA Tour website.

“It has been a pretty tough year for me, and being able to hold this trophy is absolutely amazing.”

Keys is set to face British wildcard Sonay Kartal in the first round at Wimbledon on Tuesday, while Kasatkina, seeded 11 at the All England Club, faces American Caroline Dolehide on Monday.

Rain had interrupted the men’s draw on Friday.

Argentinian fourth seed Francisco Cerundolo returned to complete a comeback 2-6 7-5 6-2 victory over American Mackenzie McDonald.

World number 17 Tommy Paul then got his semi-final under way against Gregoire Barrere and swiftly saw off the unseeded Frenchman in straight sets, 6-4 6-3.

Paul reached his second tour-level final of the season, with the match against world number 19 Cerundolo to be played on Saturday afternoon.

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